Baltic Women in Film Mentorship program: professional friendships and international projects
The Baltic Women in Film Mentorship program continues a successful journey and returns for a third season of 2023-2024. One of the factors contributing to the success of the program – the success stories of the mentees. Not only do these stories motivate organizers to continue their meaningful work, but also they prove the benefits of the program for both newcomers and professionals of the audiovisual sector.
The result of the program – a short film
The very first season of Baltic Women in Film Mentorship program started in the fall of 2021. An example of this season’s professional partnership was the couple of animation director, animator and graphic designer Vilma Razmutė and her mentor, animation director Lizete Upite from Latvia. At the beginning of the program, Vilma Razmutė was developing her animated short film’s script. „Vilma has always raised the important questions, we had long discussions and I felt that she appreciates and listens to my feedback. When the mentorship program started, she was still developing the story of her short film, but now the film is finished and she is sending it to various festivals“, said Lizete Upite. According to the director, she found it meaningful to help the young animator, because at the beginning of her career, while working on her first film, the advice and support from industry professionals were extremely important.
In 2022 Vilma Razmutė presented her first animated short film In a Bubble, which was developed during the mentorship program. According to Vilma, even after the end of the program, she and Lizete are still in touch: “I am very grateful to Baltic Women in Film Mentorship program, which introduced me to Lizete. A year has passed since the program and I can still turn to her for advice, while developing new animation projects. Lizete’s advice and comments are always very accurate and sincere”, shared the young animator.
A friendship continues even after the program
The second season of Baltic Women in Film Mentorship program was focused on young talents under the age of 30; it started in the fall of 2022. Young filmmakers from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Ukraine were taking part in this season. Not only has this season sparked cooperation between mentors and trainees, but has also formed professional relationships between the mentees themselves: film screenwriter, director and producer Vivian Melder, film critic Emel-Elizabeth Tuulik and film director and producer Vesta Tučkutė plan to continue their professional cooperation, in addition to that, Vesta Tučkute and the program organizer Gabrielė Vaičiūnaitė will be the co-producers of Vivian Melder’s short film.
The second season has brought together two foley artists in the Baltic countries – Anna-Maria Jams from Estonia and her mentor Dominyka Adomaitytė from Lithuania. “It was a pleasure to meet another foley artist, Anna-Maria. There are very few of us, so it was nice to encounter a like-minded person and share our knowledge, as well as exchange various experiences from our professional life”, told Dominyka Adomaitytė. “I am glad that we openly shared our success stories, as well as difficulties and challenges of our professional paths. We are both currently looking for opportunities to establish first foley studios in our countries and plan to work together on bigger projects. We also had an idea to travel together to San Francisco to meet our guru, foley artist Heikki Kossi”, shared the mentor.
Both Anna-Maria Jams and Dominyka Adomaitytė worked with foley sounds very individually, but the mentorship program gave them a chance to meet each other: “We looked for common topics, discussed them and supported each other. I’m glad that the professional connection has turned into a friendship”, said Anna-Maria Jams.
The third season of mentorship program calls for applications
The upcoming third season of the program welcomes women under the age of 30 from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The call is open until the 21st of August, 2023. Over the course of seven months (October 2023 – April 2024) the participants will be involved in coaching sessions with their mentors, alongside webinars and creative workshops on mental health, leadership, self-promotion and similar themes. They will also get an opportunity to network at industry events of Meeting Point Vilnius, Riga International Film Festival, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and Vilnius International Short Film Festival. The selected participants of the program will also receive an annual membership of the European Women Audiovisual Network.
The mentorship program is organized by Lithuanian short film agency “Lithuanian Shorts” and “Women in Film & Television Lithuania” association, in partnership with Riga International Film Festival (Latvia), Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (Estonia), “Meeting Point – Vilnius” (Lithuania), and the European Women Audiovisual Network (EWA, Belgium). The funding was granted by the Nordic cultural institute “Nordic Culture Point”, the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture.
Application deadline: 21 August 2023